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Guam Housing Corp. evaluating affordable home proposals

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by Joan Aguon Charfauros

Guam - This coming week the Guam Housing Corporation will be meeting to evaluate plans from companies that can make dreams of homeownership a reality for under $100,000.

"We've got a lot of people come through here processing a loan and could only qualify for less than $100,000, on average $80,000 to $90,000, things like that," said Martin Benavente, president of the GHC. "So we've created a request to bring in contractors and challenge them to build a home, 1,000-square feet or whatever, and keep it under $100,000 and these five contractors so far seems to be in line with what we're asking them."

Benavente is happy about their latest affordable housing initiative, one that will help Guamanians realize their dream of home ownership. "We looked at where the need was and where the need for government participation is and that's at the very bottom level where people are out there who are living in very substandard homes even canopies, even containers with no power and water and things like that we're trying to solve  those problems and this is where this came about," he said.

This coming week the GHC will evaluate five proposals from companies that have met the challenge to construct homes for under $100,000. According to Benavente aside from standard pre-fab homes some contractors have turned in proposals using alternative building designs. "There several people that submitted different things there's a contractor that submitted a new concrete lock system its interlocking and its supposed to save money because it doesn't need rebars because it locks itself to each other and it locks it across and ups it down it looks very efficient. they have a model of that being offered fully concrete there's another group that brought in something that looks like a waffle they call it waffle creek and they pour these cement walls on site and they just put it together like a Lego," he said.

Although GHC requested contractors to turn in plans that can be built for under $100,000, Benavente was excited about one proposal to build steel framed homes under $20,000. "Not only could they build homes under $100,000 in some cases they can go even lower than that they were offering one bedroom one-half building steel-framed building for $16,000 because of that they can go from $16,000 all the way up to $100,000 depending on what you add one and that makes it exciting because people can continue to build on to their initial $16,000 home," he explained.

Benavente says the five proposals will be evaluated this Wednesday, with approval the following week.  Once the green light is given model homes will be constructed in Sagan Linayan.

For more information and to see if you qualify for assistance from the Guam Housing Corporation, Benavente says call their office at 647-4143 to schedule an appointment.
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